Rolf Harris makes first court appearance at indecent assault trial

Stephen Delahunty

Rolf Harris applies for permission to appeal against conviction for 12 indecent assaults

Rolf Harris was described as 'not pervy' in a witness statement as he made his first appearance in person at his trial at Southwark Crown Court today.

Judge Alistair McCreath QC ruled that the star must attend court for closing speeches, summing up and verdicts. He has previously appeared via videolink for health reasons.

Stephen Vullo QC continued his defence at the entertainer's indecent assault trial with questions for Annette McQuarrie, who served as Harris' personal assistant  from 2002 to 2006. 

She was giving evidence in relation to allegations from another woman of indecent/sexual assault in 2004.

The incident is alleged to have taken place during the 'wrap party' of a TV show Harris was working on. However, the witness said she had no recollection of a 'wrap party' ever taking place as it would have been 'unusual for a show of that size'.

The court also heard several statements, read out by Mr Vullo, from people who were with Harris at a BBC TV show in 1983, at which he is alleged to have indecently assaulted a woman backstage.

The jury was told Harris, formerly of Bray, sang as he escorted a group of lost audience members to a lift and was described as a 'lovely man', a 'perfect gentleman' and 'not pervy'.

After a short recess Harris, wearing a blue suit, waggled his finger to a family member in the public gallery behind him as he took his seat in the dock.

Mr Vullo continued to read witness statements, with one describing how Harris had made her an animated cartoon as she sat next to him for lunch during the production of another TV show in the summer of 1978.

The court also heard a short statement read on behalf of actress Rula Lenska, who also appeared on the same TV show, saying she witnessed nothing untoward.

Appearing via videolink the brother of one of the alleged victims said he had been unaware of the allegations and described his sister as a 'little bit narcissistic'.

The 86-year-old is accused of seven counts of indecent assault, and one alternate charge of sexual assault spanning a period of 30 years beginning in 1971.

He denies all of the charges.

The trial continues and closing statements are expected next week.

More from the trial:

Rolf Harris jury told of previous convictions as new indecent assault trial begins

Rolf Harris trial: Jury hears NSPCC phone call from alleged victim

Alleged victim told Rolf Harris to 'f**k off' after taxi incident, court hears

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